Remarks by OPEC Secretary General

Delivered by HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, at the 8th Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), 20 April 2018, Jeddah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Your Highness, distinguished delegates,

On behalf of the entire OPEC Secretariat team, I’d like to thank HE Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the JMMC, for the outstanding arrangements made for our meetings this week. I’d also like to thank his team for their tireless work, in particular Eng. Adeeb Al-Aama, Governor for OPEC; Dr. Nasser A. Al-Dossary, National Representative, and other representatives of Saudi Arabia.

The gracious hospitality which our hosts have generously extended to us is typical given the historical tradition of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country which I first visited in 1977 (41 years ago) and have eagerly returned to at least once every year, since then. The people here have opened their homes in Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah to welcome strangers of all nationalities, for centuries. Therefore, the generous hospitality extended to us is part of this rich tradition.

This is the fourth time that the JMMC has convened outside of Vienna. We have had meetings in Kuwait City, Kuwait; St. Petersburg, in the Russian Federation; Muscat, Oman and here today in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Rotating the location in this manner means that aside from conducting our regular business; the enduring bonds of friendship between all of our great participating countries, OPEC and non-OPEC alike, are further strengthened. This week, we celebrate the enormous contribution the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made to OPEC throughout the last 58 years.

In this regard, it is a great honour for me to pay tribute to His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Custodian Of The Two Holy Mosques. His Majesty played an absolutely pivotal role in the run up to the adoption of the landmark, historic decisions in 2016. This was a demonstration of the noble skills of statesmanship, flexibility and accommodation of the highest order; inspiring others involved to try and emulate His Majesty’s outstanding example.

A crucial milestone, the positive ramifications of which are still being felt to this day, was the “breaking of the ice” meeting between His Highness Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the margins of the 2016 G20 Hangzhou Summit, in China. This courageous step, particularly the warm rapport developed between the two leaders, has played an immense role in our subsequent successes. Therefore, it is incumbent on me to express my gratitude and deep appreciation to the Crown Prince for his leadership, which is being ably demonstrated through Saudi Vision 2030.

I’d also like to register my tribute to our indefatigable Chairman, Minister Al-Falih. His tireless dedication and leadership have encouraged all of us to strive for new standards of excellence, as we fulfil our responsibilities as oil producers.

Like the first district of Vienna, where our OPEC Secretariat is located, “Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And when one reads UNESCO’s explanation of why the city earned that status, it reinforces why it is such an appropriate location for our meeting today.

The spirit of Jeddah, the principles of  international collaboration and respect are also encapsulated by the magnificent working relationship between Minister Al-Falih and Minister Novak.

It is my sincere hope that their warm relationship will survive a certain event in June. I am of course referring to the opening match of the FIFA World Cup in Moscow between the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia. I think from the perspective of the “Declaration of Cooperation,” we should hope for a tie or draw in that game, lest it disrupt the harmony between the two Ministers! To be honest though, I will have my own worries a few days later, when my home country, Nigeria, face Argentina!

Mr. Chairman, this JMMC will go down as a watershed moment, in transforming the global oil industry. So once more, I thank our hosts and I wish us all fruitful and productive discussions.

Thank you.

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, delivered his remarks at the 8th meeting of the JMMC

HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, OPEC Secretary General, delivered his remarks at the 8th meeting of the JMMC

The 8th meeting of the JMMC took place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The 8th meeting of the JMMC took place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia